In Memoriam: Rachel Lisi, 1970-2010

Seven years ago, I met Rachel Lisi online at the Kate Bush Forum. We clicked instantly over our love of music, poetry and art. Although we never met in person, I considered Rachel a friend. Last night, I was stunned to learn that she had died on Wednesday after an illness.

Starting around 2004 or so, Rachel and I spoke daily -- either in the forum or on chat. But we never actually spoke on the phone. We had planned to meet up on several occasions in London, but money and schedules always seemed to get in the way.

Rachel was an unflagging supporter of my writing, offering up frank and constructive criticism when she didn't like it. I was honored when she put the link to my site on her own as a few of the artists and writers she chose to support. 

Rachel was a fantastic photographer and I even toyed with the idea of using one of her photos as the over of Conquering Venus. Her poetry was also quite moving, and her poem "Gravity's Release" appears alongside mine in The Thrill and The Hurting anthology I co-edited with Kyla Clay-Fox in the UK back in 2006. You can see Rachel's work at her website.

It's strange to mourn someone you never actually had a face-to-face conversation with, and yet I feel an immeasurable sadness that I cannot put into words. Rachel lived in the air and wires of the Internet, but because of her sharp wit, her feisty – and sometimes confrontational – debates on the Kate forum and the art she shared with me, she transcended "online friend." 

I send my condolences to Rachel's friends and family around the world. Today would have been Rachel's 40th birthday.


christine said…
You had a true friendship with her, Collin! The beauty of the web... I'm so sad you have lost a friend, and sorry she passed at such a young age.
Maggie May said…
Collin I"m so sorry. That is terribly sad, to lose such an 'easy' friendship, where the conversation and understanding and respect comes naturally. I'll say a prayer for her and for you. xo
deborah said…
a beautiful tribute to a beautiful human being.
I share your pain Collin.
Sending you love...aways

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